COVID-19 Stressors and Mental Health in Parkinson Disease: Lisanne Dommershuijsen, MSc


The PhD candidate in the epidemiology department at Erasmus University Medical Center in the Netherlands discussed the need for tailored treatment in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. [WATCH TIME: 4 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 4 minutes

“The effects of the social stressors were higher in people with higher education, which was something that surprised us because previous studies found that people with a lower education [level] have higher anxiety and depression scores. But there was one study that suggested that maybe expectations about available resources could explain this because during the COVID-19 pandemic, the situation might change, maybe even more for people with high education, but this is something that really warrants further study.”

Following her presentation at The International Parkinson Disease and Movement Disorders Society (MDS) Virtual Congress, 2021, September 17-22, Lisanne Dommershuijsen, MSc, PhD candidate, Erasmus University Medical Center, spoke with NeurologyLive on data from the PRIME-NL study, which showed stressors resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic impacted levels of depression, anxiety, and quality of life in patients with Parkinson disease (PD). 

According to Dommershuijsen, the study presents value in that it is “the first step” in establishing tailored interventions for this patient population to improve the current state of mental health, as well as for the future state. Also discussed were investigators’ attempts to identify triggers and causes of worsening mental health, which were narrowed down to 8 associated stressors, with social stressors scoring higher than the care stressors, Dommershuijsen said. 

Further research will be needed to determine how exactly COVID-19 impacted depression and anxiety for patients with PD, who already experience higher levels of both conditions because of their diagnosis.

For more coverage of MDS 2021, click here.

Dommershuijsen L, Heide A, Berg E, et al. Effect of COVID-19 stressors on mental health and quality of life in Parkinson’s disease. Presented at: MDS Congress 2021; September 17-22; Virtual. Poster 1045. 

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